Healthy habits begin with small actions repeated every day. Healthy habits like brushing teeth, washing hands, eating a variety of nutritious foods, exercising and getting good sleep all protect against serious health problems and aid in a better quality of life. Teaching and modeling healthy habits starts at birth.
Proper handwashing is one healthy habit that is vital to protecting your health. Teaching and modeling handwashing starts as soon as children are able to participate in the action, which may be as early as the age of one. Washing hands properly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water prevents the spread of germs and protects you, your family and your community. Proper handwashing includes five easy steps.
Teach children to wash hands before:
Teach children to wash hands after:
Model and make healthy habits fun by guiding and doing them with young children. Try singing songs to keep children engaged. Learning new habits takes time; each new habit may take days or months to become part of a regular routine. It is important to invest the time and repeat the behavior regularly, so be patient and practice often!
To teach why handwashing is so important, what germs do and how to prevent the spread of disease, try using these resources, which includes a lesson guide, activity sheets, fact sheet and quiz. All of which are free for teachers and parents to use with children.
To learn more about healthy habits and explore food literacy anytime, anywhere, visit our website for free online resources.
At Dairy Council of California, we have tools and tips to start the new year off with your health in mind.
For many children, school meals may be their best source of nutrient-dense foods due to the National School Lunch Program + School Breakfast Program.